Sip and Puff TV Control

Project    /  Status:

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The challenge

The client spent long periods in bed with her only entertainment being a wall mounted TV stuck on whichever channel the last carer had set it on. On the first appraisal visit it was quickly established that there was no capacity to operate a switch mechanism either by hand or foot, so the idea of a Sip and Puff switch was raised.

For such an occasional use, the commercially available items were deemed prohibitively expensive.

A pressure transducer chip was housed in a small box mounted on a goose neck support, clamped to the bed bars. A small length of flexible silicon tubing and a plastic drinking straw provided a mouthpiece. Some interface electronics were designed which then provided signals to a hacked off-the-shelf universal TV remote controller. This was housed in a unit to be mounted on bed side bars, with a mains adapter 12V supply.

It was also explained to the client that once a Sip and Puff switch was in use, it was possible to add an interface to a Bluetooth device which would pair with any Bluetooth item such as a smartphone or tablet. In particular, Apple devices have built in Switch Control on iPhones and iPads. The incremental cost to build this in was approximately £20 and as the client expressed a great interest in doing this and already had Apple products it was decided this was worthwhile.

IMG_5971 P1020591SnP BT-IRBedford North Panel subsequently received another very similar referral, but possibly requiring extension to control further items. 3D printing and Arduino components have been used to produce a very elegant and cost effective design for a Sip and Puff TV remote control which can be easily and cheaply replicated.